Last year I read several books by French philosopher Pierre Hadot, who has focused on the role of spiritual exercises in philosophy. Through Hadot, I became acquainted with this short passage from a diary kept by Frenchman Georges Friedmann in the 1940s:
“To take flight” every day! At least for a moment, which may be brief, so long as it is intense. A “spiritual exercise” every day—alone or in the company of a person who also wants to better herself.
Spiritual exercise. Leave duration behind. Try to strip yourself of your own passions, of the vanities and the rash of noise surrounding your name (which, from time to time, itches like a chronic affliction). Flee backbiting. Strip yourself of pity and of hatred. Love all free human beings. Become eternal by transcending yourself. Read the rest of this entry »